Concil Considers Updated Guidelines
IMPORTANT UPDATE: The Public Hearing Scheduled for Monday March 4, 2013 at City Council Chambers in Seattle's City Hall has been CANCELLED. More information to follow.
What is happening now?
We have submitted our recommended Seattle Design Guidelines to Council who is expected to take action in early 2013.
We are now reformatting the 18 neighborhood-specific design guidelines that apply outside of Downtown to match the proposed content and organization of the updated citywide guidelines. We are not proposing any changes to the wording of the current neighborhood design guidelines, except for the following:
- Correcting typos or syntax errors
- Omitting the restatements of specific citywide design guidelines that are currently included in the guidelines for eight neighborhoods (Capitol Hill, North District/Lake City, Morgan Junction, North Beacon Hill, Othello, Upper Queen Anne, Uptown, and Wallingford)
- Deleting statements of community goals and objectives, and neighborhood priorities, from the neighborhood guidelines for Capitol Hill, Northgate, and Morgan Junction. This would be consistent with the City’s approach when adopting other 15 neighborhood guidelines. DPD will administratively include the neighborhood-specific introductory language for all guidelines when they are published for use.
The format changes are not intended to change the spirit and purpose of the supplemental design guidance and will make it easier to use both sets of guidelines—citywide and neighborhood—to evaluate any given project.
The Citywide Design Guidelines have been the cornerstone of the Design Review Program since 1994. Our update brings the original citywide design guidelines forward to the present day, incorporating lessons learned from the development of neighborhood-specific guidelines and almost 17 years of projects reviewed under the Seattle Design Review Program. Our update will:
- Make the guidelines more effective in encouraging better design
- Keep the guidelines clear and easy to use by applicants, board members, and the public
- Incorporate current best practices in field of design review
- Address issues that have come since the original design guidelines were drafted in 1993
The City Council’s Planning Land Use and Sustainability Committee will begin its review of the recommended guidelines with a briefing presentation from DPD and Council staff on February 13th. Schedule information is on the City Council’s site.
The City Council’s Planning, Land Use and Sustainability Committee will hold a public hearing to take comments on the proposal on Monday March 4, 2013, in City Council Chambers, Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, Floor 2. The public hearing is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. The entrances to City Hall are located on the west side of Fifth Avenue and the east side of Fourth Avenue, between James and Cherry Streets. For those who wish to testify, a sign-up sheet will be available outside Council Chambers at 5:00 p.m. on the day of the hearing.
Questions concerning the public hearing may be directed to Sara Nelson in Councilmember Richard Conlin’s at (206) 684-8805 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Past Outreach Meetings
We met with people who had valuable knowledge and experience with our existing design guidelines and the design review program. Their comments helped us develop the final design guidelines. In addition, the project team met regularly with other city staff from DPD Planning and Design Review managers for direction and advice.
- February 4, 2008: Meeting with Seattle Department of Transportation to discuss the relationship between design guidelines and the City’s Right-of-Way Improvement Manual
- February 22, 2008: Meeting with members of the Department of Planning and Development Green Team to discuss the relationship between design guidelines and sustainability and “green” design
February 25, 2008: Meeting at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Urban Planning Forum
- February 26, 2008: Meeting with City of Seattle Land Use Planners who staff the Design Review Program
- May 22, 2008: Public Meeting open to all, but targeted to former Design Review Board members and community members who had been involved in drafting neighborhood specific design guidelines for various neighborhoods throughout the city
- Feb. 29, 2008: Meeting with Metro to discussion the relationship between design guidelines and principles/guidelines for transit-friendly design.
- March 10, 2008: Meeting with Northwest Design Review Board
- May 28, 2008: Meeting with current Design Review Board members and DPD Land Use staff
Meetings with community councils and other groups occurred up until the date the Mayor’s recommendations were submitted to Council.
March 5, 2013